I alternately sighed and held my breath, waiting for the fateful moment when Elvis himself

would grace the screen. When he did, I grew faint, and bit my tongue to keep from screaming. The

girls in the live audience did no such thing — they yelled their fool heads off. But my mom had

said it was a disgrace to holler at a television set, and somehow I refrained. We kids were all

jumping and twisting around. David’s mom Anna was fairly quiet, and his granddad was so hard

of hearing he was oblivious.

All too soon it was over. Kathy and I politely thanked Anna for the use of her house and

the popcorn. David and Butch offered to walk us home, and Anna congratulated them on their

chivalry. I figured David just wanted to do it with Kathy again, and I was going to be stuck trying

to make conversation with Butch.

Right outside the house, Kathy pulled David aside and whispered into his ear. I could see

him nodding. Then he went to Butch and pulled him aside. I asked Kathy what was going on.

“Oh nothing important. I just didn’t want David to get the wrong idea.”

Well I was certainly in agreement with that.

I was still thinking of Elvis as we danced down the street, girls ahead of the boys. When

we neared the high school, David and Butch came up behind us and took our arms. Butch and

Kathy went off behind the school, leaving me and David standing there feeling foolish. At least I


“Here, why don’t we sit down and wait for them?” he asked, spreading his jacket on the


“Okay.” I imagined it was going to be awhile if they were doing it. If they were talking, it

was going to take a lot longer.

David began to talk about Elvis and asked me what I thought, and how I felt when I

watched him. I was uncomfortable because I couldn’t stop thinking about how I had watched

David and Kathy the night before. I started shivering, not entirely from the cold. I thought about

Elvis and how he made my insides seem to melt. I thought about Kathy and how she and I had

practiced for the time that I would give up my virginity to a boy. I thought about how David had

thrust his torso into Kathy’s, and how she had raked his back with her nails.

Then suddenly David was kissing me, his lips warm and hard. I could feel the breath from

his nostrils on my cheek. I kissed him back.

He lay me down on the ground and suddenly his pants were unzipped, my skirt was up

and he was pushing painfully at my crotch. I thought my underpants were still up, so nothing

was really happening, when all of a sudden I felt a sharp pain. I cried out and shoved David

away. He was trying to pull me back, trying to put his thing inside me, but I wanted up. I pushed

him hard. I stood up and pulled my skirt down. My underpants were still up, but I had this pain

between my legs.

“I’m going home,” I announced, loud enough for Kathy and Butch to hear.

“I’ll walk you,” said David, wrestling with his pants.

“No, thank you,” I said primly, and set off for home as fast as I could walk with that pain

between my legs. I felt something sticky on my leg, and I hoped that David hadn’t made some

sort of mess on me. I knew from Kathy that he wasn’t the cleanest boy in town.

At the curve before my driveway, I stopped under the streetlight and examined my legs.

My bobby socks were striped with blood. I gasped and pulled up my skirt a bit. There was

blood still running down my legs, and streaks where some of it had dried. Oh God, I had to walk

into my house, have my mom ask me what I had thought of Elvis Presley, and I had blood

running down my legs, dripping into my socks. How could this have happened? David had really

hurt me.

At the door, I paused before opening it, took a deep breath, and hurried straight through

the living room, right in front of the television, directly into the bathroom. I yelled to my mom

that I liked Elvis just fine, but right now I really needed to go to the bathroom.

I latched the door, turned on the light, and surveyed the damage. My socks were full of

blood. The hem of my skirt was red, and when I took it off I found a bloody stain on the seat.

My slip was bloody too. I couldn’t understand why my underpants hadn’t saved me, or at least

caught the blood. I pulled them down. The crotch hung free. David must have ripped it! I didn’t

know how that had happened. I hadn’t felt a thing. Was I so enchanted by his kisses that I didn’t

notice he was tearing my pants off? I had felt him fooling around down there, but he hadn’t been

touching my skin, so I had assumed he was just fumbling. This was no accident. This was a

planned event. The boy was a devil. Did he go around tearing girls’ underpants any time he felt

like it? Or had Kathy taught him in how to deal with me the way she had instructed me in how to

be with him?

Whatever the case, David got my cherry. My privates were torn and hurting. My clothes

were ruined. I was ruined.

I wadded my clothes into a towel, ran myself a hot bath, sat in it and prayed to God that

I would die tonight. Five years since my dad left me in this hell on earth. I wanted to join him

wherever he was. Please God, I’m only twelve years old, and no longer a virgin. If my dad was

alive he would die of shame. Let me die too.

After my bath, I put on three pair of underpants, my pajamas and a gown. I told my mom

I thought I had a chill and was going to bed. Long after everyone else was asleep, I lay awake.

Sometime after midnight, I got up, put on my boots, went out to the fire pit, dug it up and buried

my ruined clothes. In a month or two when my mom noticed I wasn’t wearing that orange and

white skirt anymore, I would tell her I had outgrown it.

I guess I had.